Practice Makes Better

Music school from Rabnita (1980).

Our life is a manifestation of where our energy flows. Every thought, emotion, word, and action which we allow to be realized through our being is a practice of who we are becoming. The power is within ourselves to alter the course of our lives through channeling our goals and desires through the power of practice. We deliberately ensure that our repeated actions represent our intentions, so that we may improve and advance in any chosen area. Here I have compiled a list of inspiring quotes on the art of practice, spoken by musicians, lyricists, philosophers and authors.


“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” — Will Durant

“What I have achieved by industry and practice, anyone else with tolerable natural gift and ability can also achieve.” — Johann Sebastian Bach

“I’ve done a lot of work to get where I’m at, but I have to keep working.” -Wiz Khalifa

“The difference between knowledge and skill is practice.” — Holly Marie Simmers

“Practice is the best of all instructors” — Publilius Syrus

“Never stop fighting no matter what anyone says. If it’s in your gut, your soul, there’s nothing, no worldly possession that should come between you and your expression.” -Kanye West

“If you hit a wrong note, then make it right by what you play afterwards.” — Joe Pass

“When you are having a bad day and nothing is going right . . .When the pressures of life are crowding in on you and you need some time by yourself . . When someone, or something has made you angry . . When you are bored, or when you are feeling flat or unhappy, don’t complain, just go and do some music practice. That will lift your spirits and energise you.” — Ron Ottley

“. . don’t just memorise notes; memorise the feeling of playing them.” — Madeline Bruser

“The best way for a student to get out of difficulty is to go through it” — Aristotle

“If people take anything from my music, it should be motivation to know that anything is possible as long as you keep working at it and don’t back down.”  -Eminem

“Practice does not make perfect – it makes permanent” — Alexander Libermann

“mistakes are . . . immensely useful. . . they show us . . . where we are right now and what we need to do next” — William Westney

“stage fright needs to be confronted and experienced in order to be conquered.”— Eloise Ristad

“One of the basic pscychological rules in life is that you always get more of what you focus on.” — Susan Whykes

“Practicing is endless, goals set limits” — Harvey Snitkin

“People look at you and say ‘you changed’ as if you worked that hard to stay the same” – Jay Z

“It is the height of professionalism to be able to make an ordinary piece of music sound good. When playing routine melodic studies the player must treat them as if they are musical value.” — Howard Snell

“If we’re not actively making things better, chances are we’re making them worse.”— William Westney

“If a hard bit is giving you a hard time, you should give it a hard time” — Philip Johnston

“The word “fail”, of course ceases to apply if we know that . . we are merely gaining information.” — Eloise Ristad

“Take care of the bars and the piece will take care of itself” — Philip Johnston

“If you can dream it, you can do it.” — Walt Disney

“Your success depends on how well you develop your ears.” — Harvey Snitkin

“Sit Down. Be Humble.” – Kendrick Lamar

“Every day you don’t practice, you’re one day further from being good.” — Ben Hogan

“Everyone has moments, or days, when they don’t feel like practicing but know they must.” — Madeline Bruser

“. . when the initial excitement of playing starts to evaporate, good habits are needed to sustain the learning process.” — Howard Snell

“The most valuable practice aid is patience.”— Howard Snell

“. .the most crucial ingredient by far for success in music is . . .what happens in the practice room.” — William Westney

“The genius thing that we did was, we didn’t give up.” — Jay Z

“Goals without deadlines are not really goals, but daydreams” — Harvey Snitkin

“. . .you will become what you practice” — Susan Whykes

“Sound is not simply what we hear or play, but equally a feeling in the body” — Howard Snell

“Achieving consistent performance is not about working harder, practicing for longer or exposing yourself to an increasing number of concerts, auditions or competitions; rather it is about developing the mental toughness which will enable you to be a more resilient performer.” — David Buswell

“There is no such thing as failure, only feedback” — David Buswell

“The underlying aim of practice . .is to create certainty through the development of high-quality listening.” — Howard Snell

“Stop expecting people to support your dream. It’s yours.” -Ice Cube

“If you have fun when you practice, you may also learn more and perform better”— Barry Green

“What you think affects how you feel, and how you feel affects how you perform. If you can change your thinking, then you can change how you perform.” — David Buswell

“Practicing is the process of taking a task that seems difficult and doing it repeatedly, over days and weeks until you are able to do it well, and easily.” — Ron Ottley

“Good listening is always the first step in the process that creates technique and capability” — Howard Snell

“Never ever practice. Always perform.” — Dave Martin

“Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” — Berthold Auerbach

“The more a piece affects out heart, the more easily we remember it.” — Madeline Bruser

“When you are not practicing, remember, someone somewhere is practicing, and when you meet him he will win.” — Ed Macauley

“You gotta dream like you never seen obstacles” -J Cole

“An error may be only an unintentional rightness…Do not get too fussy about how every part of the thing sounds. Go ahead. All processes are at first awkward and clumsy and “funny.” Do not be afraid of being wrong; just be afraid of being uninteresting.” — T. Carl Whitmer

“To study music, we must learn the rules. To create music, we must break them.” — Nadia Boulanger

“It’s not necessarily the amount of time you spend at practice that counts; it’s what you put into the practice.” — Eric Lindros

“Practice doesn’t make perfect. It just makes you better.” — Tawa Suleman



Photo By Ion Chibzii from Chisinau. , Moldova. (Music school from Rabnita (1980).) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (]